The community of Chatsworth covers an area of 15.24 square miles. In 2008 it had a population of 37,102, based on L.A. Department of City Planning Estimates. It is bordered by Porter Ranch to the north, Northridge to the east, West Hills, Canoga Park, and Winnetka to the south, and the Simi Hills and Ventura County to the west. The area code is 818 and the zip code is 91311.
Chatsworth has a rich history. It was originally inhabited by the Fernandeño and Chumash Native American tribes thousands of years ago. The first European explorers came into the Chatsworth area in 1769, led by the Spanish military. In 1821, after the successful Mexican War of Independence from Spain, the Mission San Fernando became part of Alta California, Mexico. In 1834, The Mexican government sold off much of the mission lands and Chatsworth became part of several land grants.
Chatsworth is located to the southeast of the Santa Susana Pass, an extremely steep mountain pass that stagecoaches had to traverse when travelling the Overland Stage Road from Los Angeles to San Francisco. As late as 1891, Chatsworth remained an active relay station for the stagecoach lines. The old Stagecoach Trail can still be seen in the hills of Chatsworth. In 1915, the town Chatsworth became part of the greater city of Los Angeles.
After World War I, Chatsworth became known for its delicious crops of fruit. It was also well-known for thoroughbred horse ranches. During the 1920s, Chatsworth became a backdrop for many of the western movies thanks to its unique scenery and proximity to Hollywood.
Chatsworth is unique because of its large and thriving equestrian community. There are a large number of individual horse properties, as well as several professional boarding ranches. It is not uncommon to see residents riding their horses along the streets, many of which have special bridal paths. Several old bars and restaurants still have hitching posts that are used by customers that tie up their horses when they stop in for a bite to eat or a drink. Every year, the Chatsworth Day of the Horse celebrates the equestrian lifestyle. Chatsworth is currently home to eight Historic-Cultural Monuments.
The most notable are the Minnie Hill Palmer House and the Homestead Acre, the only remaining homestead cottage in the San Fernando Valley. Under the Homestead Act, James David and Rhonda Jane Hill settled in 1886 on 110 acres in what is now Chatsworth nearby a stop on the Stagecoach Road, which was abandoned with the arrival of the railroads. In late 1886, the Hills' seventh child, Minnie was born on the ranch, and lived until 1981. About an acre and a half of the site is now the Homestead Acre, located in Chatsworth Park South. It includes the wood cottage, which is now home of the Chatsworth Historical Society's Virginia Watson Chatsworth History Museum, and has English rose garden.
Chatsworth is very civically engaged, and has a large number of community-based organizations, ranging from the Kiwanis to many equestrian organizations.